Organizing Association Raises the Bar By Setting a Standard For Professional Organizers

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professional organizer certification now a reality. Standards set for the professional organizing industry. New organization for advanced professional organizing companies.

The International Association of Professional Organizers (IAPO) yesterday announced its acquisition of the Certified Professional Organizer(tm) program from the Organizing and Management Institute (

The announcement, made at OMI's Raleigh, NC headquarters, comes at a time when there is a growing need for a standard of performance and knowledge in the professional organizing industry.

"As the CPO(tm) certification program became more prominent in the organizing industry, the importance of the program being owned by a non-profit organization became clearer," said OMI's Executive Director, Debra L. Proctor, Ph.D. "The acquisition insures that the purpose of the certification program -- to improve and enhance the professional organizing industry -- is not compromised in any way."

The certification program will be monitored and maintained by the CPO(tm) Certification Board, which is comprised of certified industry professionals with varied specialties.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, OMI will remain the administrator of the certification examination and IAPO will administer the certification program, while continuing to seek accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying agencies. Dr. Proctor and OMI faculty member Janet L. Hall, CPO(tm)/CRMS(tm), FSII, FSIA, will be retained as members of the CPO(tm) Certification Board. Both have also been named to IAPO's Executive Committee.

IAPO has agreed to honor all current applications and examinations that were received and approved by OMI prior to July 1, 2004. All new applications and certifications will be issued by IAPO.

"In acquiring the CPO(tm) Certification Program, IAPO has truly raised the bar for professional organizers and created a level of accountability in the industry," said IAPO Executive Director, Elizabeth Losher, who compared the certification process to financial planning's CFP designation. "In the very near future, the first question asked by anyone seeking organizing assistance will be "Are you certified?'," said Losher.

In keeping with IAPO's commitment to professionalism, excellence, and education, the standards for certification will be even higher, as evidenced by the expanded education requirements. All CPO(tm) candidates must now have 30 credit hours of continuing education, in addition to the 400 hours of professional organizing experience. IAPO membership is not a requirement for certification. IAPO members, however, do qualify for substantial discounts on certification tuition and fees.

IAPO is dedicated to setting and maintaining standards of excellence for professional organizers worldwide with professionalism, integrity and compassion. To fulfill its mission, IAPO has launched a full-scale public media campaign promoting the importance of industry standards and certification for professional organizers.

IAPO provides advanced education, professional development, certification, industry promotion and disaster relief organizing assistance. Founded informally in May 2001 by a group of professional organizers, IAPO was formally created in 2004 amid growing desire for a more advanced industry association. IAPO is the first membership organization within the professional organizing industry to require standards of education and experience for its members.

For more about IAPO, visit

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Paula Langguth Ryan